Baseball Hodge-Podge

Today’s blog will appeal to those readers who have ADHD.  There are several little tidbits that I’ve wanted to talk about that wouldn’t take up a whole blog, so I’m going to throw them all at you today.

We’ll start off with a cartoon that my friend, Halle, sent me.  Check it out here.  I love it, and it’s so appropriate.  Thanks so much, Halle.  You rock!

I found out that there are three other Giants minor league teams that I didn’t mention previously.  They are the Augusta Greenjackets (Low A – San Jose is High A), the Salem – Keizer Volcanoes (Short Season), and the AZL Giants (Rookie).  That makes for a lot of kids hoping to make their way up to the big leagues!

I asked my baseball-expert brother, Nick, about the situation the other day where a ball was overthrown to first base, the ball went into the dugout, and the base runners got to advance two bases.  He said that this is the rule – on an overthrow that goes out of play, the runners can advance 2 bases.

While watching a game a few weeks ago, I learned that there are actually rules to follow when you intentionally walk someone (when the pitcher pitches off to the side).  The catcher must start in the catcher’s box and then can only move out of it once the pitcher has released the ball.  If he leaves too soon, the umpire can call a balk, and the batter and all the base runners can advance one base.  You’ll probably never see this called in your lifetime, but it is a rule.  Even my brother, the baseball expert, didn’t know this one!  Thanks for the heads up, Mike Krukow.

During just about every game I watch, someone will say, “They put up a crooked number.”  What?  More secret baseball code.  I looked this up, and it means that they scored more than one run in an inning.  It refers to the number itself – 0 and 1 aren’t “crooked” apparently, but 2, 3, 4, and 5 are.  And “putting it up” refers to hanging the number on the scoreboard.  So now you know.

I’m just gonna throw this observation out there and see if I get any response.  Why is Duane Kuiper always eating during the post-game show on Comcast Sportsnet??  Don’t they feed those boys before the game?  And can’t he wait until after the telecast?

Did you all hear about the pitcher from the Cubs that was “disqualified” this week?  After giving up five homeruns to the Braves, Carlos Zambrano decided to take out his aggression by throwing several pitches directly at a batter.  He was ejected from the game for doing this, and proceeded to go into the clubhouse, clean out his locker, and leave before the game was over.  He told fellow teammates on the way out that he was retiring.  Sounds to me like the actions of a three-year-old.  The Cubs had finally had enough of these types of outbursts from this guy, and placed him on the 30-day disqualified list.  I had never heard of this list before, and a lot of people in the baseball media hadn’t, either.  The consequences of the list are that he will receive no pay and have no part in team activities for 30 days.  The player’s union is fighting this decision, but it sounds like just reward to me.

I figured out what P means on the scorecard that they show during the games.  P does mean Popout.  They actually list the at bat outcomes by name above the scorecard, and the P corresponded to Popout.

Mike Krukow mentioned the other day during a game that a pitcher’s goal is to keep their pitch count to below 15 pitches per inning.  They also will usually only stay in the game until they have thrown a little over 100 pitches.  The longer they can stay in the game by getting guys out with fewer pitches, the less strain they put on the relief pitchers.  When baseball first began, pitchers were expected to pitch complete games, but as time went on, it was believed that if pitchers pitched too many pitches in one game they were at higher risk for arm injuries.  Now, pitchers will usually only pitch a few complete games per season.

Now, we’ll skip over to the spit counts.  I have two for you today:

August 12th

Giants:

–         Cain 15 (!!!)

–         Keppinger 9

–         Ramirez 4

–          J. Sanchez 4

–         Sandoval 3

–         Whiteside 3

–         Torres 2

–         Meulens 1

–         Righetti 1

–         Huff 1

–         Cabrera 1

–         Schierholtz 1

Marlins:

–         Bonifacio 11

–         Morrison 6

–         Nuñez 2

–         Amezaga 2

–         Petersen 1

–         McKeon 1

–         Wise 1

–         Ball Dude 1

–         ? 1

Misc.:

Umpire 2

Game Spit Master General = Cain at 15 spits

That’s a total of 73 spits during a 2 hour and 40 minute game for an average of 1 spit almost every 2 minutes (the highest spit count average to date).

What a spitacular game!  Matt Cain set the new individual spit count record today.  It may have something to do with the fact that he looked really uncomfortable on the mound due to the heat.  Keppinger displayed his machine gun spitting again, spitting four times in rapid succession.  The winning pitcher, Nolasco of the Marlins, did not get caught spitting the entire game (and he pitched 8 innings).  Hats off to him.  They showed a shot of the floor of the Giants’ dugout during this game, and it was covered in crumpled cups and seeds and it looked very shiny (wonder what that was??).

August 14th

Giants:

–         Sandoval 11

–         Vogelsong 7

–         Lincecum 3

–         Bochy 2

–         Belt 2

–         Keppinger 2

–         Cabrera 1

–         Schierholtz 1

–         Whiteside 1

–         Casilla 1

Marlins:

–         Volstad 3

–         Ceda 3

–         Petersen 2

–         Bonifacio 1

–         Dunn 1

Misc.:

Umpire 1

Game Spit Master General = Sandoval at 11 spits

That’s a total of 42 spits during a 2 hour and 45 minute game for an average of 1 spit every 4 minutes.

I was able to attend a San Jose Giants game last Monday with my friend, Dianna.  I would definitely go again.  It was really nice being so close to the players.  We got to see Gary Brown play – he’s an up-and-coming Giant, and it will be exciting to see him make it to the big leagues.  The fans were also extremely friendly and dedicated.  And they have a fabulous tri-tip sandwich there!  This game just happened to be a rehab start for Barry Zito.  I still can’t believe I forgot to take my camera because we were sitting right behind the Giants’ dugout and I could have gotten some great shots.  Unfortunately, Barry did not have a very good showing.  He hardly ever pitched over 80 mph and gave up two runs early and then another later during his 7 2/3 innings of pitching.  The Giants ended up losing to the Bakersfield Blaze 4 – 2.  It was still a thrill to be able to watch Zito in a smaller venue.  And the fans were really nice to him and applauded when he finally came off the field.  They do some crazy things between innings at minor league games!  These included dance contests, golf contests, Giants players hitting out the headlights of a van, and musical chairs.  And it struck me as extremely comical to watch Barry Zito warming up while three little kids were running the bases wearing sombreros.  That must have been so humiliating for him!!  So if you get a chance, check it out.  I bet you’ll have a good time, and the price can’t be beat.

Now, if you don’t want to hear me gush about meeting Ryan Vogelsong, you can skip this paragraph.  Still here?  OK – I got the chance to take my picture with Ryan Vogelsong on August 7th at ManCave Memorabilia in San Mateo (also met Brandon Crawford there a few weeks ago).  I waited in line and finally got into the store.  Once I got to the table where Ryan was, I noticed that Bill Laskey (former Giants pitcher) was also sitting at the table.  How did I know who Bill Laskey was?  From watching the post-game shows (he is often a guest commentator) – it pays to watch!!  While waiting, I caught Bill’s attention, and mouthed, “What are you doing here?”  He just smiled and shrugged his shoulders.  When I got to the table to take the picture, I said, “Is this a 2-for-1 deal?”  They both just laughed.  So I sat next to Ryan (HEEEEEE!!) and asked him if he was loving his life right now, and he said that he was, and I told him he deserved it.  We took our picture (I put my arm around him – learned that from my sister during the Brandon Crawford event!), and then Ryan said to Bill, “Aren’t you going to take a picture, too?”  Bill replied, “No, I’m too old.”  I said, “Come on!  I know who you are!!” and then he said, “I know you know who I am!” and came over on the other side of me and the three of us took another picture!  Bill said it was the old and the new.  But that’s not the best part!  As I got up to leave, Ryan said to Bill, “You put the rose between the thorns!”  HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!  Needless to say, I left that place floating on air.  It turns out that Bill Laskey was there because he is a go-between for organizations who would like players at their functions.  If you’d like to see the picture of the three of us, go here.  And I’m going to put a plug in for ManCave Memorabilia (even though I think they need to change their name) because it was a thrill to meet both players there and they did a good job of organizing things.  Brian Wilson will be there at the end of this month signing autographs.  It’s too expensive for me, but if you’re interested, check this out.

The series against the Braves starts tonight.  I’m hoping that we can win at least three of the four games.  My boys have done well in the last two, and the Braves lost yesterday, so hopefully that will lead to a win for us tonight.  I’ll be watching.  GO GIANTS!!

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